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Chris Helwick stands in 11th place after the first day of  the decathlon at the USA Championships.

Chris Helwick stands in 11th place after the first day of the decathlon at the USA Championships.

June 24, 2011

By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Several former Tennessee standouts hit the track at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Thursday on the first day of the 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

A quartet of former Vol stars was in action, with Garland Porter competing in the lone final of the four. His toss of 235-3 in the men's hammer throw was good enough for sixth place.

In the men's 100m dash, 2004 Olympian Justin Gatlin came ready to perform, knocking out a 10.08 trip down the straightway. That report helped him win heat one and post the sixth-fastest mark of the first round. Rubin Williams was not as fortunate, as his 10.36 performance left him fourth in heat three and 24th overall.

On the first day of the decathlon, Chris Helwick found himself standing in 11th place with 3,769 points through five events. His top event finishes were 10th in the long jump (22-7), shot put (43-8 1/2) and high jump (6-5).

Competing in the only day one women's final involving a Lady Vol, Liz Costello wound up 21st in the 10,000 meters in 33:52.55.

Junior Ellen Wortham, meanwhile, was the only one of three current UT women in preliminary events to advance to the next round, earning her way into the semifinals of the 400-meter hurdles. She did so by finishing second in heat four in 57.79 seconds and posting the No. 13 mark of the first round.

In the women's 800 meters, it was a tough first round for junior Chanelle Price. The 2011 SEC champion and third-place NCAA finisher appeared to be on her way to advancing to the semifinals in section two, leading the field through 400 meters at 60.14. The second lap, however, was a different story, as Price got tripped up and tumbled to the track, seeing her participation at the meet come to a disappointing end with an eighth-place heat time of 2:36.05 that left her 29th overall.

Phoebe Wright fared better in the 800. Running for Nike, the former Lady Vol posted the fastest time of the first round, covering the two-lap race in 2:03.42 to win heat four. Another former UT runner, Kimarra McDonald, wound up fifth in heat one and 22nd overall in 2:06.36.

Big Orange junior Brittany Sheffey was unable to move along in the women's 1500m run. Her readout of 4:21.20 left her 12th in heat one and 22nd overall. Former Lady Vol Jackie Areson, however, did earn a spot in the semifinal round, taking sixth in heat one and posting the number 11 readout of the first round in 4:14.42.

Former Lady Vol and two-time Olympian Dee Dee Trotter, running for Saucony, was successful in her first round race in the 400m. Her 51.87 effort propelled her to second in heat one and helped her advance to the semifinals with the fifth-fastest clocking.

Action involving those with UT ties resumes at 10:15 a.m. Central time (1:15 p.m. Eastern) on Friday with freshman Linda Hadfield in the junior women's pole vault.

Results From Athletes With Vol Ties On Thursday At The USA Championships

Men's Hammer Throw: 6. Garland Porter (Unattached), 235-3/71.70m
Men's 100m Dash: Adv. Justin Gatlin (Unattached), 10.08p (w: 1.9)/1st, ht. 1 (6th); 24. Rubin Williams, 10.36p (w: 1.5)/4th, ht. 3
Men's Decathlon (Day 1): 11. Chris Helwick (Unattached), 3,769 pts. (100m: 13th, 11.42; LJ: 10th, 22-7/6.88m; SP: 10th, 43-8.50/13.32m; HJ: 10th, 6-5/1.96m; 400m: 13. 51.19)

Results From Athletes With Lady Vol Ties On Thursday At The USA Championships

Women's 800m: Adv. Phoebe Wright (Nike), 2:03.42p/1st, ht. 4 (1st); 22. Kimarra McDonald (Unattached), 2:06.36p/5th, ht. 1; 29. Chanelle Price (Tennessee), 2:36.05p/8th, ht. 2
Women's 400m: Adv. DeeDee Trotter (Saucony), 51.87p/2nd, ht. 1 (5th)
Women's 1500m: Adv. Jackie Areson (Unattached), 4:14.42p/6th, ht. 1 (11th); 22. Brittany Sheffey (Tennessee), 4:21.20p/12th, ht. 1
Women's 400m Hurdles: Adv. Ellen Wortham (Tennessee), 57.79p/2nd, ht. 4 (13th)

! - personal record, DNF - did not finish, DQ - disqualified, - foul, fr - facility record, FS - false start, h - heat, m - meters, mr - meet record, NM - no mark registered, NH - no height registered, p - preliminary round, sr - school record, w - wind-aided



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